CA and I were in the market a couple of days ago cruising about for a few things we didn’t know we needed when we passed the pie counter. I was standing there in pious reverence when she walked up and said, a little loudly, it seemed, “Are you going to pay $10 for a pie?” “Nooo!” I said in grocery store sotto voce. “I am going to make one for a quarter of the cost.”

I proceeded to pick out a blend of Braeburn, Granny Smith and some off shore brand I never heard of and we drove home the long way through the woods and hills so beautiful this time of year.

After unpacking things,I secured my Jim-Dandy apple peeler to the counter and went to work. I sprinkled a little lemon juice on the sliced apples and mixed the spices and set that all aside. Next the crust. I’ll not bore you with the details of what is arguably the world’s worst pie crust making disaster. OK, if you insist. Three. Three times I whipped up the dough and three times it failed to a degree that I am at a lost to find words that describe it. Remember: I always have the words. This is affecting me at a deep and emotional level. I may need medication of some kind or other.

I have been making pie crusts for longer than most of the people I know have been out of diapers. Yes, now and then the effort is less than perfect but it is always usable. NOT this time. Did I say three times? I finally pieced together a fourth batch, which should have been trashed, and made enough repairs with glue and some adroit stitching – the whole thing resembling the face of Frankenstein – to put it in the oven.

The moment of truth finally arrived. As I sliced into the crust, with hand trembling, scarcely breathing, I made the move to lift a piece out of the pie pan fully expecting it to fall apart. To my complete surprise, it lifted out as though it were on TV! I actually laughed out loud. Furthermore, it was drop dead delicious and the crust – as long as you didn’t look at it – was perfect! Go figure. Some of the patching and stitching was apparent but I did make it for a quarter of the cost of the market brand, but considering the time I spent, and my time is way valuable, the pie cost at least $15 a slice. But I will eat it down to the last delicious crumb and remember it as one of my finest pie making experiences.

I think the lesson here is – and there is always a lesson, if you are paying attention – never discount the effort you make. It is often the sweat that you invest that carries the day. Anyway, that’s what I’ll say, should anyone ask. Why would anyone ask? No one ever does. Well, it was just a thought. Sometimes, I wish someone would ask.

Oh shut up Henderson!

OK –

Be well, and stay tuned. I’m Jerry Henderson.

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